“Your complimentary Medallion® upgrade has been confirmed,” said the header of an email I received Saturday evening. This was for a flight from Atlanta to Chicago coming up this Friday afternoon. Further, the itinerary was booked using Delta SkyMiles, 32,500 SkyMiles to be exact. I was able to sniff out a couple of 25,000 mile options, but these times worked better for me. I like the fact that as a Platinum Medallion, I can redeem a coach award and still receive a complimentary upgrade. That’s a real benefit, and one I will continue to enjoy as I ponder loyalty in the next year. There are others, not the least of which is fee-waived same day travel changes and award changes, the first of which I made last week for this very trip.
There are other benefits, of course, one of the biggest of which is rollover MQMs. I’ll be taking advantage of that this year. Platinum Medallion is “good enough” for me, and I expect to rollover nearly enough MQMs to assure myself of at least Gold Medallion status throughout 2015. In reality, that will just be a nice down payment on Platinum Medallion, because that seems to be the sweet spot of status for me in my now Atlanta-centric life. Of course, YMMV. I’ve managed to redeem 245,000 SkyMiles this year. That said, as I’ve posted before, if you’re going to be a Delta flyer, you need a backup plan in your pocket for some redemptions, i.e. if you are planning on taking an international first class trip. I am…and I’ve got the points to pay for it.
Hotel stays are a bigger challenge for me. I’ve flirted with everyone this year, and learned that I love Kimpton more than anyone else, but so far, I’ve spent more nights at Marriott than any other. I’d initially thought I would not renew my Marriott Gold status this year, but my stays turned up as the year wore on, and I’m so close to renewing that it doesn’t make sense to not ensure that I get a few more Marriott nights here and there through the end of the year. Just to make sure I’m topped off for elite nights, I’ll probably move a little year-end spending over to my Marriott Rewards® Premier Credit Card which offers 1 elite night for every $3,000 in spending.
So, in conclusion, I don’t see much changing for me in 2014. It is certainly going to be an interesting year. Will Delta and United’s move towards revenue requirements for elite status spread to American and US Airways? Only time will tell, and I don’t necessarily think the answer to that question lies in whether or not their merger eventually goes through. How do you feel about 2014? As this year comes to a close, are you reevaluating your loyalty for next year?
-MJ, October 7, 2013